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Hum Reprod. 2009 Mar;24(3):602-7. doi: 10.1093/humrep/den405. Epub 2008 Dec 17.

Preoperative work-up for patients with deeply infiltrating endometriosis: transvaginal ultrasonography must definitely be the first-line imaging examination.

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  • 1Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics II and Reproductive Medicine, Universit√© Paris Descartes, Paris, France.



Transvaginal ultrasonography (TVUS) has important advantages compared with transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS): it is less invasive, is cost-effective, is a familiar and well-accepted approach, and anesthesia is not required. We compared the accuracy of TVUS and TRUS for diagnosing rectal wall involvement in patients presenting with histologically proved deeply infiltrating endometriosis (DIE).


Prospective study of 134 patients with histologically proved DIE underwent preoperative investigations using both TVUS and TRUS. The radiologist (TVUS) and sonographer (TRUS) were unaware of the clinical findings but knew that DIE was suspected.


DIE was confirmed histologically for all the patients. A rectal wall involvement was histologically proved for 75 patients (56%). For the diagnosis of infiltration of the intestinal wall, TVUS and TRUS, respectively, had a sensitivity of 90.7% and 96.0%, a specificity of 96.5% and 100.0%, a positive predictive value of 97.1% and 100.0% and a negative predictive value of 88.9% and 95.2%.


TVUS and TRUS have similar degrees of accuracy for predicting intestinal involvement. TVUS must be the first-line imaging process to perform for patients presenting with clinically suspected DIE. The question for the coming years is to define if it is necessary for TRUS to be carried out systematically in cases of clinically suspected DIE.

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